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Acrobats, contortionists and fire: Le Grand Cirque is coming back to Myrtle Beach

Le Grand Cirque acrobat show opens in Myrtle Beach on June 1

Le Grand Cirque, an acrobat show with performers from around the world, will open in an air-conditioned 850-seat circus tent in the Waccamaw shops area of Myrtle Beach on June 1. The show was a staple of the closed Palace Theatre for a few years.
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Le Grand Cirque, an acrobat show with performers from around the world, will open in an air-conditioned 850-seat circus tent in the Waccamaw shops area of Myrtle Beach on June 1. The show was a staple of the closed Palace Theatre for a few years.

The flying acrobats of Le Grand Cirque are coming back to Myrtle Beach.

The show in the theme of Cirque du Soleil will open on June 1 in an air-conditioned 850-seat custom circus tent in the parking lot of the Waccamaw Center – formerly the Waccamaw Pottery.

The two-hour show will feature 35 entertainers and will continue for four months through at least Sept. 28.

“We love Myrtle Beach and we thought it was time to bring the show back to Myrtle Beach,” said Jay Lodge, the chief executive officer of Dublin Worldwide Productions, which owns and operates the show.

Lodge said the company will assess the show’s success at the end of the summer and determine its future in the area. “We’ll evaluate it and see how the show does. Hopefully it’s a huge success,” Lodge said. “Thankfully Myrtle Beach has embraced it so far and we’re very grateful for that. The presales are huge. Several shows are sold out already, which is amazing.”

Le Grand Cirque and affiliated shows were a staple of the Palace Theatre for a few years before the performing arts venue was damaged by Hurricane Matthew in October 2016 and demolished in April 2017.

Dublin Worldwide Productions, which has one of its five global offices in Myrtle Beach, acquired the show’s production company and is staging shows in Branson, Missouri, at the Fallsview Casino Resort in Niagara Falls and the Orb Theatre in Japan, while also featuring touring productions across North America.

While the Palace Theatre predominantly featured entertainers from China, this incarnation of Le Grand Cirque has performers from throughout the world including the U.S., Japan, Ukraine, China, Mexico and Great Britain.

“It was fantastic at the Palace Theatre. So we’ve taken the show and taken it to a whole new level,” Lodge said. “We’ve just put on another layer and another layer and brought in extra stuff. . . . We just upped the game.”

The venue features a 40-foot high video wall and Lodge said performances within the show include the wheel of death (a human hamster wheel), teeter board, fire dancer, contortionists, aerial acts, trampoline acts and dancers.

“Everybody will find a lot of stuff they enjoy,” said Lodge, a Dublin native who grew up in London. He was executive director of the show during its run at the Palace Theatre and is still based in Myrtle Beach.

“It’s a huge, big, acrobatic, phenomenal production,” he said. “The show has been all over the world and we’re delighted to bring it to Myrtle Beach.”

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Noemi España, a contortionist with Le Grand Cirque from Sarasota Fla., stretches inside a tent at the Waccamaw Center at Fantasy Harbour in Myrtle Beach. Le Grand Cirque, which previously operated out of the now-demolished Palace Theatre, will perform eight shows a week throughout the summer. Josh Bell jbell@thesunnews.com

The circus tent has been used previously in Virginia Beach and Fort Walton Beach, Florida, and it has individual seats with chair backs. A smaller connected tent features a box office, check-in desk, gift shop and concessions.

The tent was planned for a show in Florida this summer, but that location fell through and the company decided three months ago to bring it back to Myrtle Beach.

There will be eight shows per week – 147 shows over the four months. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 10:30 a.m. Wednesday and 2 p.m. Thursday. Tickets range from $44.95 for adults to $19.95 for children.

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